Insulated Boxcar – URTX 26571

Builder:General American Transportation Corp.
Original Owner:United Reefer Transit
Capacity:40 Tons
Class:AAR Class RS (special service refrigerated car)

Built in 1931 for United Reefer Transit, this insulated boxcar was leased to Libby, McNeill & Libby. It carried canned fruits, vegetables, and meats to market from Libby’s manufacturing facilities.

United Reefer Transit was one of numerous railcar leasing firms at that time, a business that continues to this day. Companies – such as Libby’s – found it more economical to lease cars to carry their products instead of owning their own fleets or using railroad-owned cars. Leased railcars were frequently painted with the lessee’s logo or corporate colors.

By the 1930’s most boxcars were built from steel. However, this car’s design used double layers of wood sheathing to take advantage of wood’s better insulating qualities. Not to be confused with a refrigerator car, which carries onboard refrigeration equipment, this insulated boxcar could not provide cooling for its contents. Instead, it was used to keep its cargo cool in hot weather or prevent its contents from freezing during winter months.

After acquiring URTX 26571 from another museum, Age of Steam Roundhouse crews extensively renewed the external wood sheathing. The repainted car provides a splash of color on a tour of the Roundhouse.